Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Breakfast of 2013

Pretty much all I have to say is Yum! To kick off our New Year's Eve celebration we started the day at our favorite breakfast place "Wild Eggs". Alan had to work, so it was the kids, my dad and me. Poor Al.

I'm not sure where 2013 went. The years are just flying by. As always this one was full of good times and not so good times. So long as the good times out weigh the bad we are in  great shape. I've been thinking about resolutions and whether or not to make any. Last year I set some goals, but honestly I don't remember what they were. I've been operating on the "one day at a time" plan for a while and that seems to be working for me. All I know is that in 2014 I'd like to spend more time with family and friends, more time doing the things I enjoy and less time worrying about all the things that don't really matter. Sounds like a plan. Hope you have fun plans for celebrating the New Year. Can't wait to welcome in 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas "Wrap" up

Not sure how the past 3 weeks just flew by, but they sure did. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. Ours was perfectly wonderful. Busy, but full of family, food and traditions. David flew home on the 14th, but left a couple of days later to visit friends in Iowa. My Dad arrived on the 20th and helped us move Grace home on the 21st. She is an official college graduate and will be living at home until she leaves for China in June. Because these holidays are falling in the middle of the week this year, it's really messing up my work schedule. To try and accommodate all of my little speech kids I'm working (worked) extra long hours on  the Monday's. Ya gotta do what you've gotta do. The day after Christmas Alan and the kids drove down to Louisiana  to visit with his mother. The next day my dad left for Tennessee to spend some time with more family. As you have probably figured out I stayed home with the dog and cat. I've managed to get a little laundry and housework done between knitting and spinning. It's been very quiet around here after all of the hustle and bustle, but I have no worries. They will all return in time to celebrate the New Year. Do you have big plans? Staying up until midnight gets harder every year. We will probably eat, drink and be merry. I imagine we will play some board games or cards. My Dad has been on a winning streak so it's time he let someone else have a turn. I probably won't post again until January, so happy New Year to you all

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stamp Club Cookie Swap

Cool cookies waiting for a powdered sugar shake
 Tonight is my stamp clubs annual holiday get together. Last year we had a cookie swap and since it was so successful we decided to do it again. Last year I made gingerbread men. Honestly I just didn't have the rolling, cutting and decorating energy this year. I opted to make some of David's favorite cookies. I grew up calling them Mexican Wedding cookies, Some people call them Snowballs. When David was little he called them "Sand Cookies". They are very crumbly, so I can see why they would remind him of sand, especially when we were living near the beach in SC. Thank goodness they don't taste anything like sand.

Part of the swap is to include the recipe that you used. I had to squeeze mine onto these tiny little labels, which is why the baking directions are on the front. The recipe is very simple, but I personally think they can be a bit tricky to make. The cookies are very fragile when they are hot, so getting them off of the sheet pan and on to a rack to cool is a challenge. I say just wait a few minutes. It also works best if you wait until they are completely cooled to shake them in the powdered sugar. I usually put mine in a zip lock bag add a bunch of sugar and gently shake. I leave them in the bag for several hours and then add more sugar and shake again. It works for me. Just in case you are in need of cookies for a swap, here is the recipe:
1/2 lb softened butter (I used one stick salted and one stick unsalted)
4 TBS regular white sugar
2 cups ground pecans
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
 Cream the sugar and butter and then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and then form into balls. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely and then shake in powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

For My Tea Drinking Friends

Last winter I fell in love with this Candy Cane green tea from Trader Joe's. I may have bought enough to last me through the year. Thank goodness it's back and I can restock my supply. I'm giving a few boxes as gifts this year along with a little knitted tea keeper (I found the pattern here) a candy cane and some honey sticks. I think it's a very "sweet" gift.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Christmas Socks

I fell in love with this sock yarn the minute I saw it. The purple mixed in with the red and green makes for a perfect combination in my opinion. For whatever reason I thought the colorway of the yarn was called "Somebody's Kissing Santa Claus". I should have known better. When it arrived at my house, I was a little icked out to see that the actual name is "Zombody's Kissing Santa Claus". Apparently the light green and lavender are supposed to represent zombie flesh tones. Really? I am so not into all that zombie "Walking Dead" vampire stuff. Since I'm enjoying knitting these so much I'm just not going to think about the name. I'm using the Groovy Socks pattern which I think is by Sock Pixie. It's a free pattern and very fast and fun to knit. I may not have them finished by Christmas, but they will be done and ready to wear next year.
The kids here in Louisville are off from school again today. We had about an inch of snow this morning which I guess made the roads to slippery for the buses. Very lucky kids. Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Wonderland of Sorts...

Another winter storm has descended upon Louisville. It started Friday with freezing rain and sleet which then turned into beautiful snow. It took Alan 2 hours to drive home from work Friday, it's usually 20 minutes max. Saturday we had a bit of a reprieve. We were able to make it to the grocery store and then Home Depot to buy our Christmas tree. Very few people were out and about but you know, we are from Iowa (sort of) what's a little snow? We woke up this morning to another couple of inches of snow, but the temperature is supposed to make it up to 35 degrees and the weather guys are calling for more freezing rain this afternoon.

School may be called off again tomorrow due to icy roads. I think it's going to be a great winter to be a kid in Louisville. As for us, we are staying in, sipping hot chocolate by the fire and watching more football.
Hope you are nice and warm.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Over the River and Through the Snow...




I'll apologize up front for all of the pictures, I just couldn't decide which ones to leave out. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Greensboro again this year. We had to drive through some beautiful but yucky weather to get there. Thank goodness the weather cleared up just the other side of Ashville NC and the rest of the trip was picture perfect. We got to visit with family, eat delicious food and watch a ton of football and basketball. Grace and I managed to squeeze in a little shopping. Isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Our feast came from the Fresh Market again. This year we even let them bake the pies. I brought all of my pumpkins from home to decorate the dining room table and my Dad, who can not only pour wine and carve a turkey arranged the flowers. Apparently he was a florist in his younger days. Who knew? I thought he was just the delivery boy. The plate with the single green bean is Alan's. He is "trying" to eat more healthy... I think the dog actually ate that green bean. Now that November and Thanksgiving have past it's time to get the Christmas celebrating into full swing. I took down all of the fall decorations and cleaned the house in preparation. It usually takes me the better part of a week to unpack and set up all of my Christmas pretties. We are hoping to get our tree on Friday, but another blast of winter is on it's way so we shall see what happens. Hopefully I'll have more pictures to share with you soon.